The role of a health care advocate
Most of us at one time or another, as patients, can use the help of someone by our side as we deal with the health care system. This is especially true for people who are older in age and have several chronic conditions for which they often have several doctors providing their care.
Keeping the appointments, being prepared to ask questions of each physician, and communicating amongst all physicians, is problematic. Not all healthcare providers have the time to explain the diagnoses and the treatments available, and often do not answer the questions their patients have about their conditions.
To add to this burden, often there are difficult decisions to make with incomplete information and limited understanding of what other options of care are available and if they will be covered by health insurance. This common situation can leave anyone feeling vulnerable, helpless, and confused. There are questions to be answered and health insurance riddles to solve.
This complex healthcare system is like a maze and navigating this maze requires guidance. Health care advocates can direct and coach you to find your way through the maze while representing you and your priorities of care to all the providers including the health insurance company.
Healthcare advocates do not practice medicine but many advocates have a strong background in nursing or physical therapy or some other allied health field and so they are able to understand your diagnoses and medications and if needed will research and provide information for you about your medications and your chronic conditions. They often are familiar with all the healthcare options available for the client’s needs or will seek the answers and present them to the client. Many healthcare advocates with accompany clients to doctor appointments and take notes and will ask questions or encourage the client to express their concerns.
When your healthcare is complex and remedies are hard to understand, a healthcare advocate will provide you with the resources necessary to understand what you are facing, and will work with you and on your behalf to present solutions for your concerns and answers to the riddles of healthcare.
If you are looking for a health care advocate contact Margaret Sayers, MS, NP,
Care Coach, Clarence, N Y, 14031